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posted in: General

February 5, 2013

In Praise of the Rural Life

Dodge ran a commercial during Sunday’s Super Bowl that sparked memories for me and my friends. Featuring a series of evocative images of U.S. agricultural life and landowners, the two-minute spot is narrated by the late, great broadcaster Paul Harvey, drawing from a speech Harvey gave at a Future Farmers of America convention.

Since Sunday, I’ve gotten emails and phone calls from folks who know I spend most of my time in the country where I also work on conservation issues related to agriculture and the Farm Bill. I must admit I got a goose bump or two when I heard Harvey’s old, familiar voice.

The memory lots of people have of their grandparents’ farm or their uncle’s ranch is encapsulated in Mr. Harvey’s comforting tone and wholesome subject matter. I’m pleased that a nation full of an increasing number of urbanites found the opportunity to reflect on the rural life that created and sustains this country.

Farms are where our food comes from, where our fish and game live and where our future resides. While I’ll avoid the cliché reference to the rest of the story out of respect, I can’t help but hope that there is a continued story to tell of the American farmer and his or her love for the land, hopefully as expressed through the stewardship of our collective natural resources.

We should take heed of the image developed of the farmer in this brief attempt to sell trucks.  Our soil and water are under increasing demand as the world creates more mouths to feed and more alternative uses for grain products. The fish and wildlife that so many of us respectfully pursue depend on the quality and quantity of clean air and clean water as much as we do, and as such, fish and wildlife depend in no small measure on the American farmer.

I hope this commercial and this trip down memory lane with an American icon remind us all that farmers and ranchers are vital to this country: We all depend on what they do and ultimately, how they do it.

One Response to “In Praise of the Rural Life”

  1. Mark Herwig, White Bear Lake, Minnesota

    Congress needs to bring farmers and ranchers under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act – farm the best, buffer the rest; we need to focus more on reducing and controlling population growth to reduce pressure on natural resources and systems; and we have to get off finite fossil fuels — their use is killing the planet.

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February 1, 2013

Why Conservation Funding is Important to Sportsmen and the Economy

Steven discusses the economic benefits of public lands conservation programs and the importance of adequately funding these programs in light of the many financial challenges facing our country.

  • Federal spending on natural resources makes up only 1.62 percent of our total budget, but that’s some of the hardest working money we spend.
  • Every dollar we put into land acquisition contributes about $2 to the U.S. economy.
  • Hunting and fishing generate more than $6.3 billion in annual tax revenues and create more than 900,000 sustainable American jobs.
  • Federal investment in public lands (parks, refuges, trails, rivers, recreation areas and national forests) drives a conservation, recreation and historic preservation sector of the economy that supports 9.4 million U.S. jobs. Whether manufacturing, retail or service related, most of these jobs are resource or tourism based and cannot be exported.
  • The combination of conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation is responsible for more than $1 trillion in economic activity and more than $107 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.
  • Congress has an opportunity not only to continue the strong tradition of conservation in our country but also to grow our way back to fiscal health through the economic benefits provided by outdoor sports and recreation.
Whit Fosburgh

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January 29, 2013

Setting Priorities and Taking Names

Leadershiptenacity and foresight are three traits of Theodore Roosevelt’s that I most admire. T.R. embodied a certain largeness of character that is, of course, not unusual for many in the political arena. But while the man certainly could talk the talk, here is what set him apart: He got things done.

Bully pulpit or no, exceptional leaders know what it takes to make a tangible and positive impact on the nation and its people. A lot has changed since the days of Roosevelt, but I still believe great things can be accomplished in Washington, D.C., and sportsmen must play a leading role.

This is why we’ve outlined our priority issues for 2013 in our annual Conservation Policy Agenda. Please read them.

I share these priorities with you in the hopes that you’ll be willing to step into the arena when the time comes. And the time will come soon.

What’s more, I hope that you will have the tenacity to carry the discussion about conservation policy into your community. I hope you will take leadership and talk about these issues at your local hunt club or shooting range. Consider hosting a roundtable with friends – those you agree with and those you disagree with – to discuss issues of importance for hunters and anglers. True change requires the foresight to work together and map out the areas in which sportsmen hope to progress in 2013.

It all starts with accurate information. Be sure to read the TRCP Conservation Policy Agenda to learn more, sign up to receive updates from the front lines of conservation via the TRCP’s weekly Roosevelt Report, check out our partner list and find out how you can get more involved.

Join the conversation and let us know areas in which you would like to make a difference in 2013.

 

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January 23, 2013

Wednesday Win: T.R.ivia

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Archie Roosevelt was not feeling well, so his brother Quentin decided to take his pony up to Archie’s room, via the White House elevator, to make him feel better. What was the name of the pony?

Leave us a comment on the TRCP Blog, or email your answers to info@trcp.org by Friday for your chance to win a copy of the first season of the Sportsmen Channel’s “MeatEater” featuring Steven Rinella.

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January 22, 2013

Sportsmen Take the High Road on Climate Change

Public domain photo.

A couple moments from the inauguration festivities stuck in my mind. The president’s daughters snapping photos with their phones was one. Vice President Joe Biden’s moving tribute to America’s armed forces was another. But among all the pomp and circumstance, special guests and the Washington, D.C., traditions, the most exciting moment for me was President Obama’s vow to address the impacts of climate change.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Obama said. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.”

Never before has a president taken such a public stand on climate change. I speak in front of rod and gun clubs across the West and know how tough it can be to talk to people about climate change. It is a point of contention for many, and I commend the president for taking a stance on this hot-button issue in front of the entire nation.

Contentious or not, climate change is real, and it already is affecting our natural resources, fish and wildlife and outdoor opportunities. At the TRCP, we aim to educate sportsmen about the effects of climate change and ensure sportsmen involvement in mitigation efforts.

Rather than debating specific points of air temperature or carbon dioxide data, the TRCP focuses on the cascading effects of a changing climate in the biological world, including impacts to species of fish and game most important to sportsmen. We highlight on-the-ground projects that help fish and wildlife adapt to a changing environment.

We stand ready to work with the administration and members of the sportsman-conservation community to plan for the effects of climate change and rethink the habits that got us here in the first place.

Want to know what the TRCP is doing now? Read the 2013 policy agenda.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

CONSERVATION WORKS FOR AMERICA

As our nation rebounds from the COVID pandemic, policymakers are considering significant investments in infrastructure. Hunters and anglers see this as an opportunity to create conservation jobs, restore habitat, and boost fish and wildlife populations.

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